MOUNTAINSIDE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A mother who lost her son and the light of her life has come forward with a warning for everybody.
As CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported, the warning is about heroin, and how quickly the drug took away the woman’s son.
“It is the nightmare that nobody ever wanted to live; that nobody wants to live,” said Cheryl Stankov of Mountainside.
Her 24-year-old son, George Stankov, was like any other kid growing up in the suburbs in New Jersey. He was adventurous and loved extreme biking.
But everything changed when he became addicted to heroin.
“I don’t think there are any words to describe the loss,” Cheryl Stankov said. “It is a great one. My son was a great light before this darkness.”
George Stankov’s life came to an end in April of last year on train tracks in Times Square. High on heroin, he was electrocuted after falling off a subway platform.
“Two policemen showed up at my door, and I saw their silhouettes through the window, and I knew,” Cheryl Stankov said.
George Stankov’s addiction, like the users in a powerful documentary called “Pills to Heroin,” started with prescription pills for herniated spinal discs. But when he could not get the pills anymore, the young man – who had been afraid of needles – turned to heroin.
He good hooked the way many first-time users do – by snorting the drug.
“There would be open pens that he would take out the springs and the ink, and he would start to use that he those apparatuses to snort,” Cheryl Stankov said.
Cheryl Stankov said her son was in and out of rehab centers that only allowed him in for 28 days at a time. She said it was not enough.
That is why she now works with a non-profit group called “City of Angels,” helping addicts.
“We’ll find them wherever they are, and if they want help, we’ll get them in detox; we’ll get them into recovery homes,” Stankov said.
Saving other children like her son gives her hope.
The tree planted in Cheryl Stankov’s son’s memory outside her suburban home gives her strength. A stone at the base of the tree says, “We only part to meet again.”
The Bergen County Prosecutor’s office agrees with Cheryl Stankov. A sweep netted more than 300 heroin users and dealers.
The prosecutor wants the courts to monitor the suspects for at least three years, and to allow them to go to facilities outside the state for help.
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